Salmon Curry

I got this recipe from Kris' "The Food of India" book. We ate it with roti and potato masala-(link soon).
Salmon curry with potato masala and roti

From the book: There are several stages to the making of this Goan-style dish and it takes a little time to prepare the spices and the sauce. The end result is a dry type of curry with a fairly thick sauce that works well with the rich flesh of the salmon cutlets.

Kris' plate.


Spice mix
6 dried chillies
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon garam masala*
½ teaspoon ground turmeric

3 tablespoons oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 ripe tomato, chopped
My plate.
2 onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
6 green chillies, chopped
5 cm piece of ginger, grated
100 ml tamarind purée**
3 tablespoons coconut milk powder or coconut cream***
1 kg salmon cutlets

Serves 6.


Prepare the spice mix by grinding the chillies, cumin, coriander and mustard seeds to a fine powder using a spice grinder or pestile and mortar, then mixing with the garam masala and turmeric.

Heat the oil over low heat in a heavy-based frying pan large enough to hold the pieces of fish in a single layer. Add the sliced onion and fry until golden. Add the tomato, chopped onion, garlic, green chilli and ginger and fry, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until the oil separates from the sauce.

Add the spice mix and the tamarind to the pan and bring to the boil. Add the coconut milk powder or coconut cream and stir until well mixed. Season with salt, to taste. Add the fish and bring slowly to the poil. The sauce is not very liquid but it needs to be made very hot in order to cook the fish. Simmer for 5 minutes, then turn the pieces of fish over and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the sauce is thick.

*Garam masala: Garam masala means "warming spice mix." It can be a mixture of whole or ground spices. Recipes are numerous but they are all aromatic, rather than "hot" mixes.

8 cardamom pods
2 Indian bay leaves (cassia leaves)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
5 cm piece of cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cloves

Makes 1 tablespoon.

Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods. Break the bay leaves into small pieces. Put them in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar with the remaining spices and grind into a fine powder. Store in a small airtight container until needed.

**Tamarind Puree:

150 g tamarind block, broken into small pieces

Makes 300 ml

Put the tamarind in a bowl, pour in 250 ml very hot water and soak for 3 hours or until the tamarind is soft. (If you are in a hurry, simmer the tamarind in the water for 15 minutes. Although this is efficient, it doesn't give as good as result.) Mash the tamarind thoroughly with a fork.

Put the mixture through a sieve and extract as much of the pulp as possible by pushing it against the sieve with the back of a spoon. Put the tamarind in the sieve back in the bowl with another 100 ml hot water and mash again. Strain again. Discard the fibres left in the sieve. The puree can be frozen in 1 tablespoon portions and defrosted as needed.

***Coconut milk and cream: Coconut milk is not the liquid which is found from inside the coconut, which is the juice of water, but is made by soaking the grated coconut flesh in water and then squeezing it. The first soaking and squeezing gives a thicker milk, sometimes called cream.

1 quantity grated coconut

Makes 125 ml coconut cream and 250 ml coconut milk

Mix the grated coconut with 125 ml hot water and leave to steep for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture through a sieve that is lined with muslin, then gather the muslin into a ball to squeeze out any extra liquid. This will make a thick coconut milk.

Repeat the process with another 250 ml water to make thinner coconut milk.

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